Ask a Mormon Anything

I figure since I’ve got a question where I ask anti-Mormons and others to answer my questions, it’s only fair that I have a section where I take questions. Actually, it’s my blog and I can do what I want with it and fair has nothing to do with it, so let’s just say I’d enjoy entertaining any questions people would like to ask. I’m as interested in learning the truth as anyone, and I’ve found that responding to questions from anti-Mormons helps me learn more about my faith. If you’ve got a question feel free to post a comment asking it. If it’s a decent question I’ll answer it…when I get the time. You can ask questions like “Why are Mormons so stupid?” but I probably won’t answer that type of question. In fact, I’ll probably just delete it so as to not clutter up the legitimate comments.

Ask away.

Comments

  1. Joshua,

    I would appreciate the name of just one secular encyclopediaa and page which provides supporting information that:

    1. "Reformed Egyptian" was really an ancient language.

    2. "Domesticated" horses existed in the America's prior to Columbus.

    3. That ancient languages can be translated by looking at a rock in a hat. See: (Ensign » 1993 » July A Treasured Testament By Elder Russell M. Nelson)

  2. Joshua,

    How is it possible for you to support your church with it going against its own scripture? “We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members as citizens, denied.” (D&C 134:9)

    United Church of Christ

    The resolution "In support of equal marriage rights for all", supported by an estimated 80% of the 884 General Synod Delegates, made the United Church of Christ General Synod the first major Christian deliberative body in the U.S. to make a statement of support for “equal marriage rights” for all people, regardless of gender."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Church_of_Chr… The Unitarian Church also supports gay marriage.

    The Mormon Church spearheading Prop 8 in Californian has denied equal rights of a minority. The LDS Churches position toward gays is totally at odds with mainstream psychology. See the American Psychological Association statements:

    http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/policy/marriage.pdf

    http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/publications/justthefa

  3. Hi Skeptic, I've answered your first question at "Egyptians, Horses, and Rocks in Hats" and your second question at "The Hypocrisy of Mormons in Opposing Gay Marriage".

    Thanks for the questions, and please feel free to comment on my answers. I don't have as much time to discuss these topics as I would like to have, but I participate as much as I can and perhaps there are others out there who would like to discuss them further as well.

  4. Hey Josh,

    I have a couple of questions that I wrestled with for a long time. (not anymore though) I'm sure you've asked yourself the same questions. I'd be interested to see how you've managed to make peace with them.

    You and I were both born into the church to LDS families. If Mormonism is the one true church, wow…..we really hit the jackpot. Extremely lucky, right? Out of the billions and billions of humans that have come and gone over the last 50,000 years, and the tens of thousands of organized religions, not to mention the other tribal/pagan/animist beliefs, we were so unimaginably fortunate to have been born into the Creator of the Universe's own special organization on earth.

    We could have been born into any other circumstance where we were taught to believe in the existence of various deities. We could have grown up in Northern Europe a thousand years ago believing in Odin or many thousands of years ago in Egypt believing in Min. After being taught those beliefs by our parents and surrounding culture, wouldn't we have been believers? I think so.

    So, what is more likely? That you and I were unimaginably lucky, or that everyone else feels the same way about the faith of their family/culture?

    I have two follow up questions based on the above:
    By what criteria do you discount the truth claims of the other 10,000 organized religions in the world?

    And, what, if anything would lead you to the conclusion that Mormonism's foundational stories, personalities and writings are not what they claim to be?

    • Fell out of bed feeling down. This has brigetenhd my day!

  5. Alrighty John, you caught me at a good time. Normally it would take me a month to respond, if at all.

    Am I Mormon Just Because I Was Born Into it?

    Is There Anything That Could Convince You That Mormonism is Not True?

  6. My question: I have a mormon friend whose husband is an anti-mormon Christian active in a ministry to save people out of mormonism. When he asks his mormon wife about the mormon church she will never have a discussion with him. Would she be able to get a temple recommend when she is married to someone who actively opposes mormonsm?

    Also would she be able to go to the Celestial Kingdom living with this dogmatic non-believer in the LDS church and opposition to the mormon prophets, apostles, presidents?

  7. In the interest of keeping this post on-topic, I am deleting any comments that are not legitimate questions that have led to answers being provided elsewhere on this site. This post was not intended to be an area for discussion, rather a place for questions to be posted, and links to answers (not actual answers) posted in response. Thank you for your participation.

  8. Joshua,

    I love to see the AntiChrist like you run. I know now that you are

    full of Satan and hate Gods truth just like Smith did. You will face Jesus one day who is all truth, lets see you delete Him. You have no truth to answer any questions so why dont you quit fooling yourself like you do. I knew you were Rabid from the beginning and your throw-up makes me sick. Jesus still heals and Smith still Kills. Your choice to kill truth is shown. Your blood cannot be

    blamed on me for not telling you the truth because I did. What a Joy you are to Satan. Hes proud of you.. From JimMissy

  9. I asked a question on 6/6 about my Christian friend who is anti-mormon, but married to a mormon. I have subsequently found out that his wife does have a temple recommend and does go to the temple. This sounds like an oxymoron or should I say oxymormon because there is one temple recommend question that her life violates, that is she is closely affiliated with and married to a rabid anti-mormon Christian who has his own Christian ministry on the internet and goes to mormon events to hand out Christian literature.

    Can bishops just violate the temple recommend questions anytime they want to? Are the questions meant to be followed or can anyone just decide which questions they will answer truthfully and which questions they will ignore?

  10. Hi Ann, sorry, I'm just slow in answering questions. But I've finally done it here >>.

  11. Re: Steady state, eternal universe vs. big bang

    Do mormons believe in an eternal universe of eternal matter or a big bang type universe?

  12. Hi Ann, I answered your question with the post "What do Mormons believe about how the universe started?"

  13. I can’t find the post. How do I get to it?

    • Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people consider worries that they plainly do#&;8217nt know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  14. As a Christian, after reading the New Testament, I am inclined to believe that Jesus was "IT." He was the end all, the be all, the Alpha and the Omega. I feel that the New Testament clearly states that Jesus was the final answer to all of the problems of humanity, and that he was our final savior. I don't see anything in the New Testament that indicates there will be another prophet to come (i.e., Joseph Smith). I feel that the New Testament clearly shows that Jesus is the final answer, the everything. So I guess my question is, why would there be a need for a Joseph Smith? God "got the job done" with Jesus, so to speak, didn't he? What could God possibly give to the world after his only Son? I guess what I don't understand why God would need anyone to come after Jesus. Is there really anything to teach after what Jesus taught? Thanks so much for taking the time to listen to the question.

    • Hi Leslie, that's a perfectly reasonable question. Let me ask you this, why were proohets called of God before Jesus came, and why were apostles called after Jesus came?

  15. Hi! I'm not a Mormon, but I recently started reading the BOM. I'm not reading it from cover to cover yet; I just looked in the index for topics that I thought would be interesting, and I love what Moroni 8 says about baptism. That's the #1 thing that has bothered me about Christianity– I refuse to believe that a loving God would punish innocent children for their parents' failure to have them baptized, and I've always wondered how anyone could worship God if they believed He would do that. I plan to read the whole BOM eventually (I don't have a lot of free time), but if you could give me some chapters to start with that clarify other topics that have been misinterpreted or mistranslated in the Bible, that would be great! Thanks!

  16. Well, if you liked Moroni 8, you might also enjoy 2 Nephi 29. But the important thing is to find out for yourself if the book is truly what it claims to be. Some people only need to read part of the book the find that out. Other people take years and read it over and over again, studying minute details. You'll need to figure out what the right approach is for you. But in the end, you'll need to follow the admonition in Moroni 10:3-5 to read the book, think about it, and then ask God if it's true. If you do it sincerely, not just to satisfy your curiosity but to change your life based on the answer, you'll get an answer, and it will change your entire life.

  17. Josh with deleting comments I can sure tell you walk like Smith who deleted much of what God said for Smith to look good. Is it that you want also to look good like a wolf in sheeps clothing. Why do you call yourself a Christian when you deleted who God and Jesus is for the new improved GodHead that Smith made up? This dirty Liar was a true Con as he hid behind Holy looking words. Why do you continue to do the same by destroying truth that people send you and keeping only that which makes this Cult look Holy?

    Smith is no where in Heaven for there is only one Way to Heaven and thats through Jesus. Your continued deletions of truth will delete you off of Heaven road. You reject truth that Smith was a Con man and then blame Gods word and true Christians of being the Con. This sick attempt to reverse didn't work for Smith and neither will it work for you. You might look good to the girls but this is only skin deep… Jimm

  18. @Jimm – I'll leave your comment up, since you seem intent on reposting it over and over even though it does no service to your cause, but rather just makes you look like a fanatic. As I stated above:

    "In the interest of keeping this post on-topic, I am deleting any comments that are not legitimate questions that have led to answers being provided elsewhere on this site. This post was not intended to be an area for discussion, rather a place for questions to be posted, and links to answers (not actual answers) posted in response. Thank you for your participation."

    I am not deleting things to look good nor am I deleting "truth", I'm merely trying to keep this post from getting full of unrelated discussions, or in your case, pointless insults, that belong somewhere else and prevent people from posting legitimate questions.

  19. Well thank you future god dreamer Josh. All I wanted was an answer that you couldn't find the time to answer. I don't care if you post it or not. I don't really care what you think I look like. Since you work so hard to make Smith into a Saint of course I'm twisted to be an ugly con that deserves nothing. So in your mind I'm already condemned as a con along with God's Word. God said be angry and sin not. Theres nothing wrong with being angry at Mormonisn when all it does is destroy who God is and who Jesus is and fighting to pervert who a Christian is so Mormons think they can replace them.

    All this points to a BIG question… Why? Why do you allow so much Smith deletion of Gods Word to replace it with the words of a madman? You deny Gods Word as truth and accept a made up book called the Book of Abraham and all its proven lies of Smith? All the places in the Bible as proven to exist but Smiths made up places never was proven.

    Even with all these lies Mormons says I will follow a madman. Why do Mormons do this? Why?

  20. Jimm, I don't know what you're talking about when you say "All I wanted was an answer that you couldn’t find the time to answer." I've spent a few hours on this website today. I don't make money off this. This isn't my full-time job. I spend time on this website as I have time to, which sometimes means I'm not able to respond to anyone for months at a time. If you've asked a question and I haven't gotten around to it, I apologize, but the only questions I don't answer are those I haven't had time to answer yet, or those that aren't real questions, such as "You deny Gods Word as truth and accept a made up book called the Book of Abraham and all its proven lies of Smith?" When you say things like this you sound like a raving, ranting madman and you do yourself a disservice if you want anyone to take you seriously. Here's how a rational, composed person might rephrase some of what you've said:

    Rather than "Why do you allow so much Smith deletion of Gods Word to replace it with the words of a madman?" you might ask "It seems to me that much of what Joseph Smith taught, wrote, and said is at odds with what is taught and written in the Bible. Here are some specific examples of what I mean…(here you would list those examples)."

    Rather than "You deny Gods Word as truth and accept a made up book called the Book of Abraham and all its proven lies of Smith?" you might ask "It seems there is ample evidence showing that the Book of Abraham is not authentic but was created by Joseph Smith (here you cite some references or link to resources that do a credible job of expounding on the matter). How do you explain this matter?"

    Rather than "All the places in the Bible as proven to exist but Smiths made up places never was proven." you might ask "Many of the locations in the Bible have been proven to exist, but I don't know of a single location in the Book of Mormon that has been proven to exist. How can you believe in the Book of Mormon when there is no geographical or archeological evidence to support it?"

    Second, I don't condemn you. We Mormons don't believe anyone can or should try to judge who's going to hell and who's going to heaven. But in the spirit of speculation, I fully expect to see you in heaven, even if you never become a Mormon in this life. To again paraphrase Joseph Smith, when asked how Mormonism differed from other religions, "They believe we are going to hell, whereas we believe that even they can be saved."

    So, instead of asking emotional questions that aren't really questions but rather insults, like "Even with all these lies Mormons says I will follow a madman. Why do Mormons do this? Why?" (Answer: Because we don't believe Joseph Smith was a madman, what else?) try asking some logical, rational questions, and perhaps you'll have better luck getting a response.

  21. Josh, when I read your message I think about what the Lord said, "Many shall come to me that day and say Lord, Lord look what I have done to which the Lord says Go away, I never knew you. You give me alotta of excuses but there to delete my questions for two days with no problem. Then you tell me that all will be in Heaven which contradicts "Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby.

    Atheist tell me the same thing that my english is not good but you did understand exactly what I was saying so the message got across. Then you say I degrade, so did Jesus. He called them whitewashed sepulchres and hypocrites. Your strange way sickens me as Jesus was sickened by the Scribes and Pharisee's ways. You hate me the same as Jesus was hated.

    The only question you really answered is your defense for this Con Man Smith that he's not a Madman. Smith is no Saint and is no where close to Heaven. You sir will not be there if you not turn from this Con Man's teachings to the Real Jesus teachings. Not the Mormon Jesus and god who Smith made up. Jesus meant what He said that He is the only way to Heaven. You will never be a god as Satan told Adam and Eve we could become. This is a prideful fall.

    All cults teach that they are the only ones that will go to Heaven which condemns Christians an abomination in Gods sight. I am Gods Sheep and you sir are trying to steal me from God to jump in the bed of lies with Smith by calling yourself a Christian which you certainity are not because your faith is in a man made Jesus. You condemn my God, my Jesus and my witnessing because your a thief like Smith stealing Souls for Smith and a fleshly god away from the true God that is Spirit and truth.

    Here is truth and I ask why you would want to delete it to replace it with the teachings of a Con Man Smith. Does teachings of Smith appeal to your flesh? God is Spirit and He never changes. Why can't you take God at His Word and honor Him who brings life instead of Smith who is well known to take life. Smith has taken wives from husbands, daughters from parents and shot people to stop the heart. Why must you allow him to stop your heart today for the real God, Jesus to accept counterfeits? God is a jealous God and Hes not going to like it as you steal His children to a strange god. Jimm

  22. Jimm, I don't hate you, but I think you might be mentally unhinged. I don't know what you're talking about when you say I deleted your question. I've never condemned you. I've never condemned "your God". If you want to ask some rational questions, I'll answer them. But questions like "Does teachings of Smith appeal to your flesh?" don't make sense.

  23. Josh, I'm peculiar also. Is this your escape goat to accuse me of being mentally off as I stand by the true Jesus and God? You can't see that this is hate as you would steal Gods sheep from their Christian Churches to worship man made gods. This is hate for I don't whore after other gods to fall in the bed of lies that Smith made up. Smiths goal to reach was not the true God or Jesus but to girls in bed. He deceived so many and his bed of lies yet lurks in the darkness today.

    My question, "Does teachings of Smith appeal to your flesh?" Doesn't make any sense to you. Does it appeal to your flesh or to your spirit? If it promises you "power," it is appealing to your flesh. If it is calling upon you to humble yourself before the True and Living God it is appealing to your spirit.

    Test the spirits." Here are some tests that will enable you to escape this deception:

    (1) Does it claim to have a special revelation that ignores the clear teaching of the Bible?

    (2) Does it lift up the Lord Jesus Christ or itself?

    (3) Do you feel like worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ or the person giving the prophecy?

    (4) Does it call upon sinners to repent of their sins or just give them an emotional experience?

    (5) Does it inspire you to preach the Biblical doctrine of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ? If it preaches a works salvation, it is not from God.

    (6) Does it unite or segregate the body of Christ, the church? God is not the author of confusion. If it scatters the sheep, it is of the devil.

    (7) Do people who follow their prophecy become more like the Lord Jesus Christ, or more like the world, the flesh and the devil? Christians are like the Lord Jesus Christ of the Christian Bible as expressed in the four Gospels.

  24. Hi Jimm, I thought your "tests" were worthy of their own post, so I just created Does Mormonism Pass "The Test"? Enjoy!

  25. You Josh sent, http://www.mormondna.org/ask-me-questions/mormoni… is "NOT FOUND" Apologies, but the page you requested could not be found. Perhaps searching will help. Looks like God doesn't want me to see any more of your lies.

    A Dead End Josh. A dead End that Smith is a Saint. All your messages to me has not one stand for Jesus. In my eyes you have denied Him for the love of a Con and I read whoever denies Jesus before men, He will also deny him before His Father who is in heaven.

    I don't care how big you look on your Websites or how big you think Smith is. If you don't have the true Jesus then you have nothing but a Dead End… Byeee Jimm

    • Hmm, the link I posted works fine for me, although the link you pasted in your comment does indeed not work. Want to try again?

  26. Block me Josh but I am free that you are not. I pity u.. I know you can read this Josh. Enjoy

  27. I did try again but nothing. It wasn't meant to be. Byeee Josh for I have seen enough… Jimm

  28. How do Mormons explain Isaiah 44:6?

    This verse says that God does not even know of another god. Now if Mormons believe that God the Father is married to multiple mother goddesses, who He would clearly know of if He was, then how can the possibly claim to believe the Bible and deny the basic doctrine of Isaiah 44:6.

  29. Did you change something where all responses must wait moderation or is it just for me? I haven't said anything mean or disrespectful for I'm a bit confused as it was not like this before. Thanks.

  30. My questions: Mormons think the fall was necessary to bring about God's plan, so why would Satan encourage the fall? Wouldn't that be helping to bring about God's plan? Wouldn't he have tried to get Adam and Eve NOT to eat of the fruit, so no spirit children would get bodies?

    Also, if God had a plan for all spirit children to come and get a body, but then sent Adam and Eve to earth telling them not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge which would bring about procreating…doesn't that make Him a God of trickery? He essentially was saying "Don't eat the fruit! (please please please disobey me and DO eat the fruit so all the other spirit children can get bodies!) Sounds deceptive. Could you please give the Mormon theology behind this belief and how it makes any sense? Thanks.

  31. @Teacher Tester – Sorry for the delay in responding, but here's a response about the Mormon interpretation of Isaiah 44:6.

  32. Why on a website all about Mormons, who say they are Christian, there is no main topic about Jesus? I see a heading for Joseph Smith and even Satan, but alas, Jesus is nowhere to be found. Why is He not discussed or the focus of a "Christian" website? I looked through most of the categories and did not see any discussions solely on Jesus…if someone were searching to see what Mormon "DNA" involved, would they get the impression that Jesus is at the head of your church and life, or in the heart of it's believers? I see His picture, but that's the extent of it. A prop…

    I'm sure you could say because most people ask you questions about your belief in Joseph Smith or other topics more often, but why is that? Why are Mormons associated more with all these other men and issues, and not Jesus? Could it be because YOU don't make Him a focus, even on your own website? This is more just a personal question I have I guess from observing this site, and if you do have topics on just Jesus where are they?

  33. I have two legit question(s)

    1) What is the theological basis for Mormonism's relation to Judaism? As officially revealed in the Book Of Mormon?

    2) What is the Mormon Church's current relationship to Judaism, vis a vis clerical doctrine and or / lay persons? positions, prejudices, commonalities.?

  34. Hey, It's not really a question, I just noticed someone on the site posted this:

    "You should fall to your knees, beg Him for forgiveness for reducing Him to equal nature as Satan and yourself, and worship Him as Almighty God as He deserves."

    Can you start a post talking about this, it is a very big deal to some who fight the church and I think it would be nice to clearly state our belief as Mormons as to why we believe Jesus and Satan to be brothers with us. Not to mention our belief in God being seperate, in being, from Jesus Christ.

    Thanks

    Heres a good scripture to start with:

    “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

    And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matt 19:16-17)

    ____________________________________________________

    Here's another idea that goes with the same scripture above:

    "Sidenote: Mormons mean something different about what saved means so I am talking about saved meaning that we will for sure be in the mansions where God is not just that we get to live in the afterlife with a chance to be there. So I am talking about saved being eternal life."

    The discussion would be about "saved" and how saved could easily be interpreted from the scriptures as immortality but not eternal life.

    Here's another scripture for it:

    “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

    But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath bolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:9-10)

    Thanks, and I enjoy the work you have done on this site!

  35. I have a question about the nature of God versus Jesus.

    I have looked a several sites put out by the LDS church about Jesus and the nature of Jesus and God, but none address the belief that Jesus is considered by the LDS church to be the God old Testament, that Jesus is the God of Abraham and the God of Moses. Is that true?

    And if so, why is that not mentioned in official LDS websites which claim to be specifically designed to address the nature of God and Jesus. It is as if the church is trying to obscure its beliefs to make them seem more compatible to Christians rather than honestly explain the differences and let people try a conclusion. I would feel better about the LDS church if I felt it was being honest with me even if it differs from my beliefs.

    Thank you for your sincere efforts to explain your religion and taking the time to answer my question.

  36. Who is behind Holy Fetch? I find nothing when I try to Google their origins. Are you guys at odds/cross purposes with each other?

  37. I have many labored many years in the church served in almost all capacities let's just say ive done it!..have you really thought about why did Joseph have someone bring him a gun while he was in carthage jail?… Why would a man who claimed he was chosen and walked dayly with god be afraid of death was be really a lamb going to the slaughter he fired a gun that was supplied from outside sources and shot and killed three men before his own death this is not a martyr.I'm sorry I've tried very hard to just let and live I have many many ? About the church and don't want to hurt Friends or family that still believe

  38. I can't find any direct answers to Joseph Smith's translation of the ancient papyrus facsimiles in the Book of Abraham. ~20 years after he translated it, the Rosetta Stone was found which contained text in Egyptian, Greek, and Latin. Comparing the translation from that document and Joseph's translation, they are nothing alike. I know several people who left the church over this very reason, because they claim that it proves Joseph was a megalomaniac fraud. He must have known that no one in the world could read Egyptian at the time, then he could get away with saying whatever he wanted. How do TBM's answer this?

  39. D&C 130:12-13

    I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God, that the commencement of the difficulties which will cause much bloodshed previous to the coming of the Son of Man will be in South Carolina.

    It may probably arise through the slave question. This voice declared to me, while I was praying earnestly on the subject, December 25th, 1832.

    Isn't it strange that when he was prophesying in the name of the Lord the Lord spoke to him using the word "probably". Was the Lord not sure and wanted to CYA in case it didn't happen that way. Or did Joseph use common knowledge at the time to claim a prophesy.

    I could easily say "God spoke to me and said that the OKC Thunder will 'probably' win the finals." It is somewhat likely that they will, so I feel okay about saying that, but it's common knowledge as well because the team that wins the first game wins the finals around 80% of the time. But I have the "probably" clause that in case they don't, I'm okay. It doesn't sound like a prophesy at all, just Joseph's was to convince gullible people that he really was a prophet because he'd probably be correct.

    So why would the Lord use the word "probably" when speaking to Joseph?

  40. I know that there are groups specifically for gay and lesbian Mormons, but the general stance is not pro-gay. Since homosexuality is just one sin out of many, and no one is perfect, would a congregation forgive a gay couple and allow them to be part of the community without demanding that they repress their feelings? Many are forgiven for other sins such as occasional caffeine.

  41. Your image of God is that of a "creature" as I am in my form right now? Except that he dwells at some other place in a form that we cannot nessisarly understand from our prespective in the place we are now.

  42. 2 Nephi 25:23 from the Book of Mormon contradicts Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 11:6 from the Bible.

    Consider:

    2 Nephi 25:23

    23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

    Ephesians 2:8-9

    8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

    Romans 11:6

    6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

  43. Blacks
    Ridiculed again by the Mormon Church

    By Lee B. Baker,
    Former Mormon Bishop

    For several years now, every Tuesday
    evening I have had the great privilege of addressing the Christian and Mormon
    listeners of Worship FM 101.7 in Monrovia, the capital City of Liberia, West
    Africa.

    I have come to know several of the
    station managers and a number of the more frequent callers to the weekly
    program. Through their comments,
    questions and photographs, I have been genuinely moved to see the application
    of their unyielding faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Over the past few months the question of
    racist teachings in the Book of Mormon and from the past Leadership of the
    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been on the minds of the
    Liberian converts to Mormonism and the many true Christians who struggle to understand
    how such a Church can be growing in Africa.

    I believe the answer is relatively
    simple; it has been the perfect merging of a sincere lack of knowledge on the
    part of the Mormon converts and a disturbing lack of accountability on the part
    of the Mormon leaders. A near total lack
    of knowledge across Africa specific to some of the more explicit teachings found
    within the Mormon Scriptures, principally that Black Skin[1]
    is a representation of wickedness and even less information concerning the
    racism and bigotry openly and officially taught by the early Leadership of the
    Mormon Church. This combined with the current Church Leadership’s inability to
    clearly and specifically reject its own racist teachings both in print and from
    its past Senior Leadership, has left the Black Race with only a short
    irresponsible and offensively juvenile Official Statement[2]
    that claims the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knows very little
    about its own race-based policy that had lasted for well over 100 years:

    “It is not known precisely why, how or when this
    restriction began in the Church, but it has ended.”

    Maintaining a detailed and comprehensive
    history of every aspect and teaching of the Church has been both one of the
    hallmarks and one of the downfalls of Mormon Church. Within the relatively young Church,
    authoritative documentation, however corrupt it may have been, has never been
    in short supply. Each of the Senior
    Leaders of the Mormon Church has had several official biographers as well as an
    army of Church authorized historians to record for the faithful Mormon all
    facets of the History of the Church. In
    fact, one of my first of many “Callings” in the Mormon Church was that of a
    Ward (Congregational) Historian, long before I became a Bishop.

    The peculiar assertion that the Mormon
    Church itself does not know the details of its very own race-based
    policy of restricting the Blacks from holding the Priesthood is tremendously
    embarrassing for all Mormons and exceptionally degrading for anyone who
    actually believes it.

    As a former local leader of the Mormon
    Church, I have repeatedly assured the African members of the Mormon Church that
    the documents and “Scriptures” I have read to them over the air are both Authorized and Official for the time period they are relevant to. I clearly state the current position of total
    acceptance of all Races by the Church, but I must highlight the fact that the
    Book of Mormon still carries it’s obviously racist message that dark skin was a
    curse and Jesus was white. I have said
    many times on-air that like the Mormon Missionaries, I too believe that every
    African should have a copy of the Book of Mormon, if only to learn the truly
    racist teaching of the Mormons.

    I have and will continue to teach the
    African Nations from the authentic Mormon Scriptures and the Church History
    documents, which I had purchased from the Mormon Church to know my past responsibilities
    as a Mormon Bishop. The official records of the Mormon Church include many
    jokes and sermons given within the Official Semi-Annual General Conference of
    the faithful Mormons, using the “N-word”, Darky and Sambo. Additionally, these Church published books
    record nearly 100 graphic sermons and lessons that clearly teach the principle,
    practice and policy that Black Skin was, is and will remain forever the Curse
    of Cain.

    Only in the recent past has the
    “Complete History” of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints come to
    the attention of its own membership, much less to the under developed regions
    of the world. As this information is
    discovered, an ever increasing number of members of the Mormon Church have come
    into a personal crisis of faith, most notably Elder Hans Mattsson[3]
    of Sweden, a General Authority of the Mormon Church who has gone public with
    his doubts and questions.

    Not unique to Africa, has been the
    Mormon Church’s training of young Missionaries to strictly avoid any discussion
    of several of the more embarrassing, yet true, teachings of the 183 year old
    Church. Chief among these subjects has been Polygamy and Blacks and the
    Priesthood.

    With the smooth talent of a skilled
    politician, the Mormon Church has ended its Official Statement with the
    following hypocritical and deceitful, but technically accurate quote:

    “The origins of priesthood availability are not
    entirely clear. Some explanations with
    respect to this matter were made in the absence of direct revelation and
    references to these explanations are sometimes cited in publications. These previous personal statements do not
    represent Church doctrine.”

    As a former Mormon Bishop and member of
    the Mormon Church for over 32 years, let me be of some help with the
    translation of this very carefully crafted message. The two key noteworthy
    phrases are: “in the absence of direct
    revelation” and “These previous
    personal statements do not represent Church doctrine.”

    I will address the most obvious first, clearly
    the “previous statements” from the
    Church and its Leadership “do not”
    represent the Church doctrine today.
    The policy was reversed in 1978 and there is no question as to
    the policy today. The hypocritical deception is that between 1845 and 1978
    those “statements” did, very much “DID”
    not “DO” represent past Church doctrine.
    Yet, I do give full credit to the clever Mormon authors and editors for
    their most skillful use of the English language.

    And finally, the most revealing and
    enlightening statement from the Mormon Church is: “in the absence of direct revelation”. So then, it is incredibly true and accurate
    that without any mockery or sarcasm; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
    Saints had for nearly 100 years, restricted a significant portion of the human
    race, millions and millions from God’s intended blessings of Eternal Marriage,
    Salvation and even Godhood, without knowing why they did it, all without
    “direct revelation”?

    This Official Statement of religious
    shame and embarrassment comes from the Headquarters of a Church that claims to be guided in all things
    by “direct revelation”. How then, did such an exclusive doctrine
    based on prejudice, bigotry and racism become so accepted, so authoritative, so
    convincing and so commanding for so long, without “direct revelation”?

    As a former Bishop of the Church of
    Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I give testimony that what they have stated
    is true, in that, they are racist and do not hide the History of the Church
    from its members or the public, this, their Official Statement on Race and the
    Church demonstrates that fact.

    I believe that the truly wicked
    teachings as well as the repulsive history of the Mormon Church concerning
    Polygamy, Polyandry, Blood Atonement, and Blacks and the Priesthood is
    available for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

    It is my prayer that all Mormons and
    non-Mormons will come to know the true history of The Church of Jesus Christ of
    Latter-day Saints. That every man, woman
    and young adult on the earth today will find the time to read the Book of
    Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price from cover to
    cover to see the deception they hold, and then… read the Word of God with the
    eyes of a child, and follow the true Jesus, the true Christ found only in the
    Bible.

    Sincerely,

    Lee B. Baker

    Former Mormon Bishop

    [1] 1 Nephi 11:13, 1 Nephi 12:23,
    1 Nephi 13:15, 2 Nephi 5:21, 2 Nephi 30:6, Jacob 3:5,
    Jacob 3:8-9, Alma 3:6, Alma 3:9, Alma 3:14,
    Alma 23:18, 3 Nephi 2:14-16, 3 Nephi 19:25, 30, Mormon 5:15, Moses 7:8, Moses 7:12,
    Moses 7:22, Abraham 1:21, Abraham 1:27

    [2] http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/race-church

    [3] http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/07/20/us/100000002347278/a-mormon-doubts.html

    • Hi Lee, some of your questions and statements are answered or responded to with the post Is The Book of Mormon Racist?. I’d invite you to join the discussion there.

      There are a few other posts in the section Mormons and Blacks you may want to comment on as well.

      I would also invite you to read the autobiography of Helvecio Martins, the first black general authority in the Church, as well as this talk by his son Marcus Martins. You can also view video of the talk here, if you prefer.

      In response to your question about the Church’s record-keeping and such, I’ve created a new post at How Could The Church Not Know?

      These posts and the links from them may not answer all your questions, but hopefully they make for a good start.

  44. Hi Joshua,

    I am a very curious about The Church of Latter-Day Saints and what it teaches. I have always my whole life been taught from The Bible. That being said I have learned things from The Bible that prove Mormonism to be false. Could you answer how The Church of Latter-Day Saints believes what they do when The Bible (King James Version) says this:

    Jesus always was God (John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16-17). Since the Bible teaches that Jesus is God (John 10:30; 20:28;Heb. 1:8) and God is eternal (Psalm 90:2), then Jesus must have always been God.

    John 1:1-3: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

    Colossians 1:16-17: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

    It is important to note that Jesus created all things including Satan. In Mormonism, Jesus is the spirit brother of Satan who was begotten through literal sexual relations between heavenly Father and possibly a heavenly Mother. Therefore, in Mormonism, Jesus did not create Satan. Jesus’ physical body is the result of some sort of physical union between Heavenly Father and Mary.

    That is very clearly against that The Bible. I am a women of God and would really appreciate your perception on this. Thanks-Danielle

    • Hi Danielle, I’ll give you the LDS interpretation of these scriptures and the LDS answers to your questions. I don’t expect you to accept or believe what I tell you, but you will at least have a better understanding of where Mormons are coming from on these matters. Actually, what I should really say is that I’m telling you what I, as a Mormon, believe. Not all Mormons agree on everything, although I think I’m doing a fair job at summarizing LDS beliefs in my following answers.

      At the core of the difference between your beliefs and mine is that all scripture is subject to interpretation, notwithstanding 2 Peter 1:20. When our eyes see written words on a page, and those words activate our brains in a certain way, the way those words affect our brains is determined by the context we bring to the experience, which is unique to anyone else’s context. Thus each of us, even if we’re in the same religion, bring at least a slightly different interpretation to the scriptures. It’s unavoidable. The question is not how do we get around interpreting the Bible, since this is impossible, but rather how do we find out what God’s interpretation is of the Bible? We believe the Bible cannot do it by itself–proof must be external to the Bible, and for that further light and knowledge, and proof, we LDS turn to additional scripture, modern day prophets, and revelation, or direct communication with God. Ok, that said, let’s dive in.

      1. Jesus = God, or Jesus and God? – We believe Jesus is a son of God. We believe we are also children of God, and heirs of God’s divine nature along with Jesus. Jesus is literally our brother. God is literally our father. Children grow up to be what their parents are. As children of God, we will grow up to be gods, like Him. This is the order of the natural world all around us, and the natural world is modeled on the same laws God himself follows. Just as you could say that you have always been human, just as your father is human, Jesus has always been God. He is of the same species as God, as are we. Of course Jesus’ mission is a bit different than ours, and in that he is unique. He is also the only of God’s children to not only be His spiritual offspring, but to have a physical body that was half immortal, half mortal, since his body was made through a union of God and Mary’s genetic material. How exactly that happened I don’t know, and don’t much care–the important point is that Jesus in this life was half God, half man, and had special abilities to perform the Atonement on behalf of our sins that nobody else had.

      2. Jesus made everything. Well, did he make “everything,” or “everything?” We believe Jesus created the earth, under the direction of God, and I expect the entire universe. So for a prophet to write that Jesus created “everything” would be to say “Yeah, everything you see around you, this whole world, the sky, the stars–everything you see or are aware of was made by Jesus.” But did Jesus create himself? Well, that would be tricky, but if we want to take the word “everything” to its ultimate interpretation, we would have to say he created himself and evil itself. I don’t believe God or Jesus created himself, nor that either of them created evil. I don’t believe that’s what the scriptures are saying. I believe the scriptures are merely telling us that everything we can see around us was created by Jesus.

      3. Satan – Yes, we believe God is the father of our spirits, and that in heaven, before we were born, we were all together; you, me, Jesus, God, and Satan, who was called Lucifer. Lucifer was a son of God in high standing, but he rebelled against God and was thrown out, along with all those who followed him. He then became Satan, the devil, and he and his followers are damned to never progress for the rest of eternity. They will eternally be miserable, and they seek to make everyone miserable like they are.

      Is any of this clearly against the Bible? I don’t believe so. I believe the Bible confirms everything Mormons believe. But that’s because Mormons interpret the Bible differently than other Christians do, just as Catholics interpret the Bible differently than Lutherans, Baptists different than Methodists, etc. If we didn’t interpret the Bible differently, we’d all be part of the same religion. Who’s right? We can’t tell based on the Bible, because it is subject to each person’s interpretation. If we can disagree about what the word “everything” means then we can have differing viewpoints on a lot of other things as well. And we could argue the Bible nonstop for hundreds of years and neither of us would convince the other. The only true interpretation must come directly from God. But first there must be a desire. People join the LDS Church because something about it appeals to them. They become interested. They like what they learn. Either they want it to be true, or they want to know if it is true and are ready to commit to it if they can get an answer from God that it is true. They study, they ponder, they pray. And if they are sincere, they are led to the truth of the matter. But many have no desire to know if what we preach is true. They have already decided. They do not want it to be true. They look for ways to disprove what Mormons believe. There is nothing irrational about this, but it is a choice. Either one chooses to search for the truth, or one believes they already have the truth, and so they stop searching. If you want to know if the LDS Church is true, you can know by studying the Book of Mormon, learning more about the doctrine we believe and teach, and by praying and asking God if it’s true. If you do so with sincerity, you’ll come to know that it is true, just as I have, just as others have.

      Thanks!

  45. Can you explain how Joseph Smith translated the book of Abraham from an Egyptian funeral scroll?

    This was before the Rosetta Stone was unearthed, but wouldn’t making this mistake in fact render him a false prophet?

    Didn’t Jebus say “Only bad fruit can come from a bad tree”? So in fact if a prophet makes a mistake according to Deuteronomy he is a false prophet and should be ignored or put to death if he spoke in the name of God.

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